Archive for the 'Furnishing' Category

I’ve Furnished my Bedroom…Now What?


Your bedroom is your sanctuary – a little getaway spot to call your own. Just because you don’t often bring visitors in there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t decorate it nicely and give it some ambience! A little goes a long way in a bedroom – some cheap bedroom furniture, light fixtures, and maybe some art can help you to create a soothing environment in which you can relax.


Lighting is extremely important for creating a restful ambiance. Don’t settle for centered ceiling fixtures; choose something a bit softer like lamps with lampshades. Be sure to go for a soft white bulb as opposed to something harsherand you may even find that putting dimmers on your light switch makes a huge difference. Shop around for lampshades that disburse the light in a way that creates a pleasing atmosphere, and don’t forget to arrange the fixtures strategically. For example, having a lamp by your bed for some night-time reading is always a good idea.


It’s not always in the cards (read: the budget) to swap out your carpet for hardwood or vice versa, but you can always add to your color scheme and create a neater look by strategically placing throw rugs. A lot of people like to put a big throw rug right under the bed to sort of frame it on the floor, which gives the room a more organized look. Choose a pop of color if the rest of your room is neutral, and use other small decorative accents to play off of it.


There are many different options for wall décor. Try getting a roll of stick-on patterned wallpaper and applying it to the wall behind your bed for a room-opening wall accent. For something less bold, find artwork that fits in with the color scheme of the room. There are many small touches you can add to accent any colors in your décor; decorative throw pillows, lamp bases, bed skirts, and curtains are subtle ways to bring the room together.


Making your Dining Room Look Bigger

ImageSmaller houses, townhomes, and apartments are often designed to reduce square footage by way of a small kitchen, small dining room, or no dining room at all. This space shortage isn’t a huge issue, but one of the mistakes that homeowners make when decorating is wasting what little space they do have. Just because your dining room isn’t as grand as one might be in a Victorian home, it’s still designed to be workable – you just have to know how to make it look bigger!

Paints and Wallpapers

The first thing you want to do is choose a wall color that will open up the room. Some interior designers say that it helps to paint the walls a darker color while leaving the ceiling white in order to create the illusion of more space. However, in a very enclosed dining room, rather than just a dining area, this can feel very encapsulated. In a room with no windows and/or small doorways, try sticking with lighter colors all around or using striped wallpaper. Both have been known to lengthen up a room.

Hanging mirrors is another trick of the trade. Ideally, in a small room, you’d hang a mirror that is the same size as, or almost the same size as, one of the walls. However, you can also play around with shaped decorative mirrors, such as hanging several circular or geometric mirrors across the wall. Play around and work with what you’ve got – any reflective piece will surely open up the room.

Dining Room Furniture

If you’re trying to use a dining room for its intended purpose, you’re going to start shopping dining room sets – and obviously, they’re pretty space-consuming. Luckily, there are a few ways to make yours work well in your small space.

Be sure to aim for sets with armless chairs. Arms on chairs make it difficult to push them all the way under the table, and therefore, they take up more space. Choosing generally lighter profile chairs rather than bulky designs – whether it be in color or style – will reduce visual barriers and allow for more “air” in the room. This same sentiment can be applied to the table – try one with a glass top!

Round tables work well in smaller areas since there is more seating access in a smaller surface area. In other words, there’s less “wasted” table space. For extra points, try a pedestal-style table that eliminates the multiple legs and creates the illusion of more floor space.

It’s easy to use nice, attractive dining room sets in a small dining room, you just have to decorate smart! Using these tips, you’ll have no problem throwing dinner parties.

Let’s Get Ready to Summer

Summer Squad!


The days are getting longer. The skies are looking bluer. The freshness of the spring bloom is starting to grow into that lush, confident green we look forward to every year. And whatever else you might want to call it, we all know what it is. You can feel it in the air. Summer. It’s a time for love, for recreation, for simply basking in the warmth. And if the heat doesn’t get too oppressive, summer really is a time for the flowering of human experience. You’ll never find a better season for more new activities, or a better excuse to take a break from work and go bungee jumping. Yes, it looks like the memes were all wrong, people. Summer is coming.

So you’ve got two choices. You can either enthusiastically drop everything and run off into the great wild unknown and enjoy the vast expanse of North America, hitching and train-hopping your way from town to town before you lose the chance to do it forever, or, for the more sober-minded among us, you can enjoy summer right in your own city. But that takes a little bit of planning.

So let’s get ready for summer with these helpful tips. Remember, we’re professionals.

Install your Air Conditioner!

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I’ve lived, summer can get pretty brutal. That’s a consequence of living on a giant mirror made of glass and asphalt, I suppose, but it does mean that summers are often scorching. And what’s worse, a lot of housing up here doesn’t have central air conditioning pre-installed. So you’re going to want to get your window unit installed as soon as possible. They’re pretty simple to get going; plug ’em in and stick them in the window frame, attaching any included fixtures and brackets to make sure it’s secure. That way you’re ready when the heat really kicks in, and won’t find yourself desperately installing it during a sudden heatwave. As they say, better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure.

If you don’t already own an air conditioner, you’re going to want to get yourself covered as soon as you can with a good unit capable of providing you with a nice, cool refuge from those days when the sun just won’t stop beating you down. Knowing what kind of air conditioner to buy can be tough, and that’s why we’ve prepared and handy-dandy air conditioner buyer’s guide to help you find the best one. Whether it’s a window unit, a portable, or a full-scale PTAC, an AC is a vital part of any summer plan. Remember, in NYC at least, Summer 2012 was the third hottest summer on record, with temperatures in New York City in the triple digits for much of the season. I can’t imagine weathering that without an air conditioner.

You might want consider purchasing an efficient Energy Star-rated air conditioner, which meet or exceed the strictest EPA guidelines for energy efficiency. And always remember that air conditioners should be replaced every three years so you’re always up to date with current EPA Energy Star standards. They’ll save you money, and help save the planet, too!

Plan a Memorial Day Barbecue


Memorial Day originated as a day to remember the sacrifice of those who died in the Civil War, and was first celebrated by freedmen in Charleston, South Carolina in May, 1865 in what is now Hampton Park. Today, it’s become a day for both national memorial for American servicemen and a national day of recreation, the symbolic start to the summer season, celebrated with fireworks, family gatherings, and the traditional barbecue.

Barbecuing is a great way to combine a meal for family and friends with an embrace for the outdoors. So if you want to throw a great BBQ party, do it right! Think bigger than burgers. A great grill can handle everything from hot dogs to ribs, and some grilled veggies would make a nice complement. Expand your palate. And think about other things you can serve around the picnic table — deviled eggs, potato salad, cole slaw, baked mac and cheese — to give your guests some options. So gather your family out on the patio with a selection of dishes. Kick off summer right, kemosabe.

Get Ready for Farmer’s Markets!


Farmer’s markets may run year-round in much of the country, but summer is when they really shine. No more hothouse produce; this is the real stuff. Now’s the time to start getting excited about all the fresh summer produce you’ll finally be able to get at its absolute best, and to think about everything you can do with it. Everything from tomatoes to cherries to watermelons are going to be peaking in the summer, so get ready to dig in. Now’s the time to start planning all those pies you’ve been wanting to cook.

Stock up on allergy medication and sunblock

A lot of people find summer brings more woes than whoas (pun intended) in the form of month-long sneezing fits and deep, red, murderous sunburn. But we live in an age of marvels, and there’s no reason to let your body’s natural antipathy to the outdoors stand between you and summer fun. Now’s the time to make sure you’ve got a reliable supply of allergy meds and sunblock.

For allergy meds, personal preference is as good a guide as any as far as picking what you need, but an important thing to remember about sunblock is that the SPF number doesn’t tell you a whole lot. SPF 15 blocks 94% of the sun’s rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, SPF 45 blocks 98%, and after that, the numbers become functionally meaningless. For most people, SPF 30 is sufficient, and a water-resistant sunblock should be applied every two hours or after swimming. Don’t worry about getting the SPF 10,000 sunblock you usually go for, and just make sure you’ve got enough of whatever it is you end up using.



Summer isn’t going anywhere. Sure, it’s not the endless island that it was when we were ten, but it’s still three solid months long, and you’ve got time. You don’t need to jam everything into every day, and sometimes it’s important to take some time, kick back by yourself with a good back or every single episode of House of Cards and take a load off. Better yet? String a hammock out back and take a load off. You can hit the beach next weekend. You can go to Six Flags later. Let your mind wander, and dream… presents “Securing Your Home Against Bloody Mary”

Ok, so the first and best thing about the Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror is that it provides your home with an unparalleled level of security. How can it do that, you might ask? After all, it’s just a trick infinity mirror, isn’t? It gives you the illusion of an infinite tunnel of light, but there’s nothing terribly special about it when it comes to the safety of your home and family, is there?

That’s where you’re wrong. Because the Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror, with it’s unique and eye-catching construction, gives you the most important protection of them all: no more need you fear your children will be taken into the realm of the dead by Bloody Mary or the Bell Witch.

We all played those games as children. We’d go into the bathroom, or some other room in the house with a mirror, and we’d flip the lights off and on while chanting “Bloody Mary” or “I believe in the Bell Witch” until she would presumably appear in the mirror and drag you off. You’d be gone forever, left to torment in the spirit world. I don’t know about you, but I always chickened out at the last second. Everyone I know did. But what if your children don’t? You need to keep their safety in mind.

The Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror (and its cousins) provide you the valuable service of not reflecting your face; instead, you get an endless tunnel of light. Without a face in which to manifest, the Bell Witch or Bloody Mary simply cannot appear, and your children and your home will be secured against their vendettas or machinations or other wicked spells and whatnot.

And instead of the Bell Witch, you get to contemplate an eternal, peaceful void. If anything, it’s a pathway to a much happier land than wherever it is Bloody Mary resides. And since it’s just an illusion anyway, there’s not a chance that either of these ghosts could use it as a pathway into your home. No, they need faces, and this mirror does not provide them.

And it’s very stylish, too. It’s a Jon Gilmore design from NOVA Lamps, a leading manufacturer of modern household accents. It’s battery-powered, so there’s no unsightly cord coming off of it, and it’s made of the finest brushed aluminum. So it both looks great and protects your home from folklore ghosts.

I make no guarantees about boogeymen, phantom hitchhikers, escaped mental patients with a single metal hook for a hand, the Jersey Devil, or Spring-Heel Jack.

Protect yourself and your children from mirror-related ghosts at! presents “Outbreak: The Adirondacks”

Now this is luxury. Basking in the sun in the middle of the scenic Adirondacks, enjoying the crisp air of the early spring. The leaves are bright and green and seem to stretch on into forever, as if this wood was the whole world itself. Up here, taking in the expanse of Upstate New York, it’s easy to believe that we’re the only people in the world, and that there’s no massive zombie horde almost certainly chasing us down, and perhaps even now lurking in this sylvan wonderland, stalking between the trees in dread pursuit of our flesh and blood, that they may feast.

So just kick back, relax, and take a seat on any one of these beautiful Adirondack chairs.

I’m a pretty big fan of this one, the Cedar Delite Western Red Cedar Small Adirondack Chair with Exterior Stain. It’s made with 100% beautiful Canadian Western Red Cedar in that classic Adirondack style that just screams “weekend at the Finger Lakes with FDR in a world totally not swarming with the undead.” I mean, yeah, FDR had to fight a war, but that’s gotta be less stressful than the collapse of all human civilization under the weight of a zombie plague. So let’s just pretend that never happened for a few days and relax. We’ve got a lot of travelling ahead of us coming up.

No, I don’t hear anything.

Nothing is more relaxing than this elegant, sloping grain. We can lay out and forget our horrifying worries, and dream a little dream of swimming and brandy and little tiny hot dogs on sticks. And unlike our deathly pursuers, this wood is extremely resistant to decay, so it’ll be looking beautiful long after this entire continent has been abandoned to the walking dead.

Stop panicking. Nothing’s out there, probably, and even if there is, there’s nothing we can do about it, so let’s just kick our legs up on this Rectangle Western Red Cedar Coffee Table, set your drink down on the Red Cedar Atlantic 17″ Round Table, close our eyes, and drift off. If the hordes burst in tonight, I want them to see how utterly unconcerned we were, and how comfortable and refined, before we start breaking it apart to use as weaponry.

Zombies or no, has all the Adirondack chairs you could ask for. presents “The World’s Greatest Leprechaun”

Skippy McShamrock was, undoubtedly, the world’s greatest leprechaun.  He would, in a few short years, completely revolutionize his people’s way of life. No more cobbling, no more hiding pots of gold. Those were the old ways, for the old men, who still kept both their red beards and the old seasons, who waxed and waned with the year.

“This is a new age,” he would say, “and those traditions are dead. We need no longer wait, no longer hide. We are entrepreneurs in the world’s fastest-growing industry!” Everything about him screamed progress, future, success, technology. He kept a smartphone. He kept his wealth in banks. He didn’t feel the need to taunt and mock — this was the end of the mischievous leprechaun of old. No, all the old things have passed away.

No more the artisanal furnishings; in his office, McShamrock kept only the most modern decor by Euro Style. Everything, from his desk to his couch to the delicately engineered sculptures he kept  by his window, was furiously modern. He liked to keep things minimalist; it made him feel like he was falling — no, racing — into the future. McShamrock had no truck with tradition. He was a revolution unto himself.

He poured himself a brandy into a stark and geometric glass — no more pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons for him, for this was fast becoming a changed world — and reflected on how he kept his home the same way. Enough of the old hobbit holes! His was a modernist poem in leather and glass. He kept it clean and undistracted, with his curved, single-piece glass console table, and his Valencia leather lounge chair. He was determined to make a strong fashion statement: this was the time for the new.

He looked out of his window, at the vast expanse of Leprechaun society below him, the bustling mess of horse carts and automobiles, the roughspun peasants and the burgeoning middle-class. They looked only to themselves. But Skippy McShamrock was a great man. He looked only forward.

Don’t let Skippy McShamrock think he’s better than you; all of the above items are available for sale at presents “Hey you! Get in here!”

Listen, kid! This is a newspaper, and that is news! A super-powered vigilante swinging up and down the city? He’s a menace, and I don’t care that you’ve got a big midterm coming up  — I expect photos on my Butler Connoisseur’s Writing Desk in time for the morning edition! You can sleep when you’re dead!

You may be just a freelance photographer, but I write your checks, and I sign them right here, on top of this warm chestnut finish! These Gemelina solids are putting you through college to that fancy-pants science degree, and I expect you to do what I say, and when I say I want top-notch photos of Bug-Man or Web-Lad or whatever he’s calling himself before the crack of dawn, you had better get me those photos before the crack of dawn! 

It took me a lifetime of work to earn my place behind these delicate gold highlights and dovetailed storage drawers, so don’t be a slacker!

I’m a busy man, too! I like nothing more than going home and kicking up my feet on my Butler Metalworks Octagonal Cocktail Table, but instead I’m here burning the midnight oil! I expect no less from my photographers, especially with that insect-themed threat endangering this city! Why, he could drop out of the sky at any moment! The public needs to be informed, and not even it’s distressed cherry veneers or hand-forged metal base can pull me away, so I won’t have you slouching just because you need to brush up on particle physics!

I swear, if I don’t get enough photos from you to fill up my Artists’ Originals Tobacco Leaf Chest, you will be out of here as sure as it’s rich brown finish was applied by skilled artisans! Why, that masked troublemaker managed to take out half a city block in Midtown during his fight with that Doctor Whatsisface maniac, and I need your photos to expose him for the plague he is! And I’ll do it, too, or my name isn’t —

Hey. Where’d the kid go? Always vanishing on me, that one. presents “They Fight Crime!”

So. The ratings are low, ad revenue is down, and you need a hit on the cheap. Something we can explode out of the gate without needing a huge budget. Well, have I got an idea for you:

The Incompletes. He’s a down-on-his-luck ex-truck driver from the wrong side of the tracks who plays by his own rules. She’s a fast-talking expert statistician with a gambling addiction and nothing left to lose. Together, they’re taking down Jaros Zarka’s criminal syndicate — one bastard at a time. It’s 21 Jump Street meets CSI meets Hill Street Blues meets NYPD Blue. And the best part? Everybody in it is nine years old.

We can skimp on the sets by scaling everything down so that the kids look like adults. It’s genius. And I know just how to do it: Fun Furnishings. These are teeny-tiny, kid-sized furnishings perfect to help scale the set down. We can do sofas, chairs, and, um, beanbags. Nothing says “prime time vigilante drama” like a well-placed beanbag chair. It just screams action and drama. And even if it doesn’t — it’s not like we’re spending a lot of money on this.

They’re perfectly scaled, inexpensive, and made entirely out of lightweight, flame-retardant foam. And they have unmatched versatility — the sofas and chairs fold out into sleepers, so they can double as beds! All we have to do is get the foley guys or whoever to pick ’em up and move ’em to over to another part of the set, toss a blanket down, and boom! We got a bedroom! Perfect for our grizzled heroes to angst about how they’re gonna stop Zarka’s latest nefarious operation.

And there are so many different colors and patterns — our sets will never get boring even we stay under budget! The kids will be engaged in full-on pitched battles over colorful sofas in Zarka’s decadent office. Sure will look great in HD! And for more somber scenes? The Central Park Sleeper Sofa‘s got that covered, too.

I can see it already. Right where ER used to air, we put on The Incompletes — no, they won’t be able to tell they’re kids. Just stick fake goatees on ’em and nobody’ll be able to tell the difference.

The viral marketing alone will make us millions. presents “Just a Regular Cowboy”

I do believe I am the rootin’est-tootin’est buckaroo ever to muster cattle in Branford County. I drive them steer up and down the river, mud everywhere and coverin’ everything, stinkin’ to high heaven with that musty smell you only ever get from cattle. I sleep in the ditches and dirt, warmed by the fire, comforted only by the thought that when I get home, I’ll be greeted by the most striking, elegant accent pieces west of the Mississippi.

Now, this may not be la-dee-da New York City, but after weeks on horseback and eatin’ beans from a can, it does me good to remember that my ranch cabin is most elegantly accoutered, and that right next to the bull whips and muddy boots — well, not right next to — I’ve got these absolutely lovely handmade, blown-glass sculptures.

I get covered in filth and loam, and Lord knows that’s how a man’s s’posed to be. Yesirree, I’m a salt-of-the-earth sorta fella, who works with dirty hands and saddle sores. I eat my steak rare, culled from the herd, lookin’ out over the Rio Grande. My hands are calloused, my boots worn, my hat broken-in and blown. That’s why  I keep home full of singing angels, elegant, furiously modern candlesticks, and these spectacular wall sconces. When I walk in from a month-long cattle drive, it’s good to know I’m the only cowboy with enough interior design sense to accent the whole dusty frontier image with beige and caramel glass decor.

No, mounted horns and horseshoes above the door just ain’t for me. If I’m gonna work like a cowboy, well, by Golly I’m gonna live like I’m on Park Avenue. Care for some brie? presents “The Mummy’s Curse”

Listen. I understand. You were just enjoying your vacation to Egypt, taking a nice stroll around the Valley of the Kings. You certainly didn’t intend to desecrate anything, did you? No, of course not. And when you stumbled — by accident, of course — into the tomb of Sheteptawy, did you mean to break a couple a of canopic jars? No. That would be ridiculous.

But it’s what happened, and now you need to deal with it. You broke those jars, and now you’re under Sheteptawy’s curse. So we have a couple of options here: either you can spend the rest of your life in abject terror because that old priest of Set is about to shamble around the next corner, arms outstretched, with his dead eyes filled with the certitude of his revenge, or we can take steps to keep you safe. And I have just the solution: Ecosmart Fire.

Stop crying. Everyone knows that mummies hate fire. I mean, well, I guess everybody hates fire, but mummies? Mummies are literally dried-out corpses from the middle of the desert. They’ll go up like kindling. So the best way to feel safe is to trick out your house with these bioethanol indoor fireplaces that flame up with the flip of a switch. If Shetaptawy does go ahead and show up, you just turn these babies on and he’ll run screaming into the night. Or lumber awkwardly away moaning into the night. Either way, he’ll be somebody else’s problem.

And we can outfit your place in whatever mummy-deterring arrangement suits you best. They’ve got both wall-mounted and free-standing models. Tactically speaking, I think the free-standing ones give you more versatility, but there’s something to be said for the drama of having the walls set aflame at your command. Ole Sheteptawy might think you’re Ra himself when he sees the room light up with the flick of your wrist. It’s both an effective mummy deterrent and a convenient, elegant way to light your home, so I mean, this is win-win, buddy.

And they’re all fueled by bioethanol, a renewable, environmentally-friendly energy source, which means that you don’t need to worry about planet Earth when you’re worrying about Numero Uno. The only emissions are heat, steam, and carbon dioxide — which is, I’m told, also effective at keeping away the undead. The bioethanol creates a beautiful dancing flame sure to terrify any mummy that sees it. And the freestanding ones don’t need any installation at all — you just set ’em up, turn ’em on, and watch as sweet security descends upon your homes: now perpetually mummy free.

The best part is that, once you’ve dispatched Sheteptawy once and for all, you’ve still got the most spectacular lighting displays of anyone else in town.

So maybe it’s not a curse after all!

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